My brother, Kenneth, who also enjoys writing, came up with an idea for the two of us to improve our skills by sending each other writing challenges and exercises. He sent me this picture with the following instructions: (this is an exercise from a textbook) Write a paragraph about a single small part of this picture. Include the color, the smell, sound, texture, and taste of the thing described.
I was drawn to the cat’s tongue; it was the first thing I noticed. I took a little liberty and my piece is written outside the context of the picture.
This is it:
The foul serpentine tongue slithered forth from the mouth of the beast, unfurled with a sickening slurp, only inches from his face. The vile, acrid stench of blood and rotted flesh, all that remained of the beast’s previous victims, assaulted his senses, turned his stomach. The repulsive pale, red surface of the organ was rough and corrugated, it’s length unnaturally long, dipping well below the beast’s chin, curling at the end, hooking toward his neck like the threat of a dagger. The tongue pulsed with the animal’s breath, in and out, in and out. Thick, frothy saliva slid down from the back of the tongue and hung in one suspended drop off the tip. The flesh of the beast’s jaw pulled back in a snarl to reveal razor teeth, stained yellow-pink from time and blood. A guttural growl rumbled from the beast’s core and tumbled down off the tongue, rolled across his face and rose the hairs on the back of his neck. He knew that what came next would not be pleasant.